Lightning Safety Recommendations
Check the forecast and watch the sky
Before heading out, check your local forecast. While outside look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, or increasing wind, which may be signs of an approaching thunderstorm.
Use the 30/30 Lightning Rule above
Count seconds between ‘flash’ and ‘bang’ and seek shelter when the time is less than 30 seconds. Do not resume activity until 30 minutes after the last audible thunder.
Know the lightning-safe position
When lightning threatens and you can not reach suitable shelter you should assume the lightning-safe position: crouch on the ground with your weight on the balls of the feet, keep your feet together, your head lowered, and ears covered. Never lie flat on the ground. You should also use this position if you feel your hair stand on end, your skin tingle, or you hear crackling noises.
Find a safe shelter
Sturdy buildings are the safest place to be. Avoid sheds, picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, and bleachers. If no sturdy building is nearby, a hard-top vehicle with windows closed will offer some protection. The steel frame of the vehicle provides some protection if you are not touching metal.
**Avoid isolated trees or other tall objects. Never take shelter under a tree. Also avoid bodies of water, sheds, fences, convertibles, tractors, bikes and motorcycles. Avoid leaning against vehicles, and get off and away from bicycles and motorcycles. **
In a wooded area seek shelter under a thick growth of relatively small trees.
Don’t wait for rain to seek shelter
Many people take shelter from the rain, but most people struck by lightning are not in the rain. Go quickly inside a completely enclosed building, not a carport, open garage or covered patio. If no enclosed building is convenient, get inside a hard-topped all-metal vehicle.
Get out of the water
Water is a great conducter of electricity. stay off the beach and out of small boats or canoes. If caught in a boat, crouch down in the center of the boat away from metal hardware. Swimming, wading, snorkling and scuba diving are NOT safe. Lightning can strike the water and travel some distance beneath and away from its point of contact. Don’t stand in puddles of water, even if wearing rubber boots.
Avoid any metal objects
Drop metal backpacks, stay away from clothes lines, fences, exposed sheds and electrically conductive elevated objects. Don’t hold on to metal items such golf clubs, fishing rods, tennis rackets or tools.
Do NOT stay in a group
Stay several yards away from other people. Don’t share a bleacher bench or huddle in a group.